Freezer Meal Prep Before Baby(ies)
With two babies due for arrival very soon, I figured it was about time to tackle the freeze-ahead meal prep that I had frankly been dreading for obvious reasons…I’m pregnant, tired and have barely had energy to cook even ONE dinner on a regular week night. I’ll admit right up front, this was an overwhelming task at 34 weeks pregnant with twins, but much like what I hear about labor and birth, it’s now just a blur…and all I am left with is the fabulous result.
I figure I will barely have the time or the brain to even brush my teeth once the little people arrive, so cooking will certainly be out of the question. That said, I really don’t love the idea of stuffing my face with pizza and chinese food out of convenience, and I’m anxious to get myself back into healthy eating habits upon our arrival home as a family of four (eeeek! first time I’ve every typed that!). If you’ve been following my journey for a while, you know I’m big into the modified-paleo lifestyle as I feel my best when I maintain a mostly grain-free, dairy-free, non-gmo, natural, from the farm-to-the-table, organic diet. As such, I’ve gathered and prepped a few of my favorite paleo and modified-paleo recipes to keep us well nourished during what I expect to be the most exhausting few weeks of our lives yet.
Simple spinach and fruit smoothie pops for a quick blended breakfast. I also intend to keep some fresh fruit on hand, as well as some paleo raw bars for mornings when the blender just isn’t going to cut it.
Lunches and Dinners:
I was able to prepare a total of (60) individually portioned meals to rotate between lunch and dinner. This should cover us for two-three weeks, assuming we will once in a while grab a fresh salad or healthy meal from a local shop when we want to change things up a bit.
Who says you can’t eat cookies AND still be healthy?! Once I ween myself off of the Dairy Queen cravings, I’ll certainly need something sweet to keep me satisfied. I’ve included a few of my favorite paleo desserts that allow you to have your “clean” cake and eat it, too!
There are many ways to freeze food for best storage and reheating purposes. Since I will not be storing these meals for more than three months, I was not concerned about long-term storage (no double tinfoiling, double bagging, etc). I chose to use aluminum mini loaf pans for the individual meal portions (picked them up at Walmart for .88 per pack of five), and quart sized freezer bags. Everything was labeled with the date the meal was cooked and what’s inside. I personally recommend freezing in individual portions, as you can simply pop a serving or two into the oven for reheat without any further thought, and without having to thaw an entire tray! This will make the reheat time substantially less. Most of the meals below will reheat well at 300-350 degrees, for 20 minutes or less. You should look for an internal temp of roughly 160 degrees F or hot to the touch. Alternatively you could thaw in the fridge and then heat in oven or microwave, for even less time on reheat.
I’ll probably add another snack or breakfast here and there to my stockpile as I await their arrival, but I think we are in pretty good shape for our initiation into parenthood.
SPINACH AND FRUIT SMOOTHIES
Spinach Pops for Smoothies:
Blend (1) bag of organic baby spinach with 1 cup of water
Pour into ice tray, freeze, store blocks in labeled freezer bags
Yogurt Pops for Smoothies:
Simply freeze your choice of yogurt in an ice tray, freeze, store blocks in labeled freezer bags
I personally like using a vanilla yogurt for my simple spinach and fruit smoothies
Organic Fruit Medley:
Stock up on a few frozen organic fruit medley bags. I like mixed berries, or even a tropical blend with mango, pineapple and bananas.
Simply pop a few spinach and yogurt pops, along with with some frozen fruit into the blender and wallah, instant smoothie, quickly!